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Trojans Drop Opener to #22 Fullerton 3-2

USC (0-1) dropped a 3-2 game against No. 22 Cal State Fullerton (1-0) on Opening Night of the college baseball season. James Roberts had a two-run HR, but it wasn't enough.

Nigel Nootbaar pitched 2.2 scoreless innings.
Nigel Nootbaar pitched 2.2 scoreless innings.
Shotgun Spratling

FULLERTON, Calif. -- USC took a tough 3-2 loss at Cal State Fullerton's Goodwin Field to start the season. Fullerton freshman Thomas Eshelman pitched six strong innings to pick up the win.

The Titans scored a run in the first inning, but the Trojans answered to take a brief lead in the sixth inning. Senior Adam Landecker reached on an error with two outs and James Roberts blasted an 0-1 changeup over the left field fence for a two-run homer.

But Fullerton manufactured a pair of runs in the bottom half of the inning to take the lead. Following a leadoff single and a walk, All-American Michael Lorenzen laid down a perfect bunt to third base. Chad Wallach singled home a run, but freshman left fielder Timmy Robinson hosed a runner at the plate to keep the game tied.

Following a pitching change, Matt Orloff put down a squeeze bunt that allowed Lorenzen to slide under the tag with what would prove to be the winning run. Reliever Nigel Nootbaar kept the Titans scoreless the remainder of the game, but USC couldn't get a runner against Fullerton relievers Willie Kuhl and Lorenzen, who was throwing 94-95 mph in the ninth inning.

You can read a full breakdown of the game I wrote for College Baseball Daily, which includes a video interview of James Roberts. I also put together a 16-picture photo gallery you can view as well.